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Everything posted by RuthWells

  1. I am smiling at your enthusiasm, Indulge! Your question was a timely one for me, as last night I decided to teach my sons (ages 8 & 10) to temper chocolate so that we could dip some toffees together. My hubby gave me a beautiful set of dipping forks for Christmas, and I hadn't had a chance to break them in yet. I showed my kids how to feel the temp by dabbing the chocolate on their upper lips, which tickled them to no end, needless to say.
  2. Hi, Indulge, and welcome to eGullet! You will get responses from folks far more experienced than I, but first off, the chocolate itself is not at fault. Ghiradelli 60% is in temper when you purchase it, and is retemperable. The only stuff that isn't really temperable is the "chocolate" candy wafers that are sold by craft stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby (Wilton is one brand). With that said, the other immediate suggestion I have is, stop using your fridge to set the chocolate. As long as you have someplace to put the items at cool room temp, the chocolate will set as long as it has
  3. I hear you. The class I'm most interested in is taught by Norman Love. I've decided to be proactive and contact him to get his take on whether the class would be suitable for me (or vise versa, LOL!). Have emailed and will share what I learn.
  4. This is precisely what I'm trying to avoid. Thanks for the input!
  5. Thanks for this feedback. I did in fact speak with a helpful woman in admissions at FPS and told her of my dilemma. She did warn me that the pacing in the pro classes is faster than the non-pro, that they're not going to take time go over basics such as tempering chocolate and the like -- which is not a problem for me. My issue is that the "hobbyist" classes are very likely to be too basic for my experience level, and a relative waste of time and money for me. I'd rather challenge myself to keep up to a high level of performance, than be the "class leader" setting a faster pace than the ot
  6. Go for it! I would definitely take the professional classes... like you said, you're very experienced, I;m sure you know all the basics, so why not take up the challege and move up a level? you will learn more in the professional class. Which class are you interested in? ←
  7. I am definitely interested in the French Pastry School as well. They have some classes designated as "suited for the food enthusiast", implying that the other classes are more geared toward professionals. Of course, the "professional" classes interest me more than the others. I am not a professional, but am a very experienced and passionate amateur -- would I be crazy to tackle one of the more hard-core classes, do you think?
  8. Thanks, CG! I'm having trouble pinning down a decision...... so many options.......
  9. Holy sh*t -- the dates encompass my actual birthday. Karma?!
  10. John, thanks for those links -- hmmm, I've never been to Chicago...... that could be interesting! This is part of the problem I'm having, K8! I'm decent-to-pretty good (though certainly not expert) at everything I've tried on my own, running the gamut from cake decorating to laminated doughs to bread to chocolates..... and don't really know what I'd like to focus on. I have not done any sugar work, so that might be a way to go. I guess I'm open to being swayed by what's available, more so than looking to fill a specific niche. Real helpful, huh?
  11. I'm thinking about splurging on a 3-5 day pastry course as a birthday treat to myself this year. Other than the Notter School in Orlando, where should I be looking? TIA.
  12. I made some lemon macarons over the holidays: They were juuuuuuuuuust about the way I'd like, with the exception of an over-puffed dome. I'm assuming that bumping the inital oven heat down 25* or so will take care of that problem -- what do y'all think? (The recipe I use is from a several-months-old NY Times Magazine article.)
  13. I made the banana bundt this weekend, adding 3 tsp of cinnamon and a few scoops of chocolate chips. Heavenly! I keep picking at the crust, which is delectably chewy-crisp.
  14. What JeanneCakes said. You may get better smoothing of the butter if you use your paddle instead of your whisk for that portion of the mixing. The sky's the limit with regard to flavors -- extracts, liquors, melted choc, Nutella, praline, fruit purees.......... you get the idea.
  15. Thanks for posting your success, Lorinda! Glad the demo helped.
  16. Sorry no pix -- but I inaugurated my copy of Emily Luchetti's Passion for Desserts this weekend with her Apple Filo Napoleans. Golden delicious apples lightly cooked with sugar, lemon and apple juices, layered with pecan&sugar dusted layers of filo and a dollop of cinnamon cream. Terrific flavor and texture combos, but a bit too much sugar in each of the elements as written.
  17. As long as they were completely yolk and grease free when frozen, they whip up fine. In fact, some say they whip up higher than fresh whites, but I've never tested that theory.
  18. The egg yolk buttercreams, such as RLB's neoclassic, have a richer flavor than the egg white buttercreams. They are also not as fluffy, as you describe, and are much softer than egg white buttercreams. If you're really concerned about stability (if you're piping decorations, say, or layering multiple layers with the buttercream), I'd stick with the IMBC. As for the curdling you experienced while making the IMBC, is it almost always a question of temperature. If it happens again, place your hands on the outside of your mixing bowl. If it feels cool, wrap a hot, wet dish towel around the bow
  19. I'm completely fascinated by this topic. I received "The Art of the Cake" by Bruce Healy and Paul Bugat for Christmas, and was astonished to find that they instruct readers to temper the chocolate that will be used for glazes and ganaches. I had never seen this process before (and I have a LOT of baking books!).
  20. I'm finally getting around to posting some of the goodies I made over the holidays -- my first Dobos Torte, some raspberry marshmallows, and lemon macarons. The marshmallows were from Dorie G's new book, and I found them to be very soft.
  21. I haven't checked back on this thread in a good while (as you can see). But it's still a topic of interest to me. I would love to taste a scratch white cake that was moist and delicious. Too bad you live so far away. I took white cake off my menu and I don't even offer it to my customers any more. In all the years I've been baking, I've only gotten one request for "white cake." I offered up my yellow cake instead and she was happy. ← Try the white cake recipe from Whimiscal Bakehouse -- it's delicious, nice and moist. I think I posted the formula in the thread "seeking the best wh
  22. Gee, thanks -- I'm glad people are getting some use out of this demo! ← Great demo and nice photos. I have made this item a few times and it comes out beautifully each time and I use it right away. Last week I made another batch and decided to place it in the refrig. and decorate the cake the next day. The IBC was hard and impossible to get back to the nice fluffy state. I nuked it for 20 secs. and used the paddle on it to no avail. So I dumped it and had to make another batch, so I've made a note to myself not to refrig. next time. ← That is curious -- I refrige this buttercream
  23. Those are gorgeous, Vanessa, thanks to you both for the suggestion. No downside to cutting the ganache with a sharp knife, in lieu of a guitar cutter? Edited to add that Santa also brought me a fancy set of dipping forks, so this project is very appealing!
  24. Santa was good to me this year, and I am now the proud owner of a stack of transfer sheets! However, I do not have any magnetic molds. I'm assuming that standard cavity mold are not good candidates for transfer sheets. Can you suggest any fun I can have with my new toys, aside from using them on sheet chocolate for cake wraps and garnishes?
  25. Gee, thanks -- I'm glad people are getting some use out of this demo!
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